Just to get an intuitive feel about the force. I came up with a imaginary situation of a long aisle on a huge rotating disk, like a groove along the diameter of a disk.

Now as this disk starts rotating if you were standing somewhere in the aisle it would push you outwards from the centre. As you move outwards your tangential velocity will have to increase and hence enact a acceleration upon you thus a force. This force which causes your tangential speed along the perpendicular to radius to increase is the Coriolis force.

Is my explanation correct, if not would someone mind giving a scenario apt for visualizing the force.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this is correct. The force that would accelerate you in your scenario is the normal force applied on you by the wall of the groove. $\endgroup$ – garyp Nov 5 '18 at 12:09
  • $\begingroup$ In this case the floor will be pushing your feet along the direction. $\endgroup$ – Rahul Narwar Nov 5 '18 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ Can you clarify that comment? What is "the direction"? $\endgroup$ – garyp Nov 5 '18 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ 'The direction' is w×r $\endgroup$ – Rahul Narwar Nov 6 '18 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ Ok. The floor is pushing on your feet tangentially to the rotation. That is the force of friction, not the Coriolis force. $\endgroup$ – garyp Nov 6 '18 at 3:49

No, the disk does not do any force on you, asume the disk is made of ice and you just go straight from the center to the perifery sliding, that is, you are not rotating with the disk. The disk will move (rotate) under your feet, and you are not accelerated. But somebody standing and rotating with the disk will see something different, because they are rotating they wil see you moving in a curved path. He explains your motion by introducing a pseudoforce (a force that does not really exists, and is just an effect of his own acceleration). See the animation here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_force

  • $\begingroup$ If you are walking along a radial line on the disk (and therefore walking in a curved path, when viewed by an observer who can see that the disk is rotating) the force between you and the disk is a real force, and that is the force causing the acceleration that moves you along the curve and not in a straight line. You are describing a different situation from the OP's question about walking along a line that is fixed to the rotating disk. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Nov 5 '18 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @alephzero Are you saying that Coriolis is a real force? $\endgroup$ – Wolphram jonny Nov 5 '18 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ @alephzero I am walking in a radial line in an inertial reference frame, there are no real forces there $\endgroup$ – Wolphram jonny Nov 5 '18 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ The force required to keep the path of our object under observation a straight line is coriolis force.So the force which will enact upon the object from the wall of groove is coriolis force.Is this correct? $\endgroup$ – Rahul Narwar Nov 6 '18 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ No, you do not need any force to move in a straight line in an inertial frame, like the one outside the disk. A non inertial observer that moves with the disk will not see a straight line, but a curved one because he himself is rotating. So there is no real force of the walking person. Now, if you want to analyze the case of a person moving on a straight line as seen in the rotating frame of reference, such as moving along a groove, the description will be slightly different, but again, the Coriolis force is not real, it is not made by a physical object, $\endgroup$ – Wolphram jonny Nov 6 '18 at 1:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.